Dr Amelia Greenwood is a renowned psychologist, who has sold at least thirteen books! She is going to help the audience confront and conquer their fear. All while dealing with the emotional ramifications of her recent divorce, made somewhat more difficult by the fact her ex is contracted to do her tech.
Dr Greenwood’s presentation, accompanied by the obligatory PowerPoint, is about realising and understanding your fear – with everything boiling down to fear of pain and death. To provide an example of this she details her relationship with her ex, from the moment they met at school, through their break-up, then their reconnection years later, marriage and eventual divorce. This examination of her relationship takes up the majority of the show and there are fun moments. I especially loved the Disney references, but this isn’t the horror we were promised; it’s the everyday, mundane tragedy of a broken relationship.
I was waiting for something suitably horrifying to fulfil the show's billing, but it didn't happen until the final third of the show, which completely killed the pacing. This is a shame, as the last third is really well done; it quickly ramps up the tension and delivers on the promise of the show’s premise. Perhaps it would have been better to advertise this show differently so that the last section takes the audience by surprise, rather than leave us waiting impatiently for something to happen.
The interactions between Greenwood and the tech were fun, and the source of most of the humour in the show. The audience participation mainly consists of yelling out answers to Greenwood’s questions, such as ‘What is your greatest fear?’ It provides the same kind of excruciatingly embarrassing atmosphere that I’d imagine you’d encounter at a motivational seminar, and credit must be given to the actress playing Dr Greenwood for being able to get the audience invested enough to take part.
The actress playing Dr Greenwood is clearly talented and she just about holds the audience’s attention throughout the first two thirds of the show, but it isn’t until the final act that Fear Itself lives up to its horror categorisation. That last part is well done, but may be a case of too little, too late.